Azara Blog: Cloned primate embryos

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Date published: 2007/11/14

The BBC says:

Experts have for the first time created cloned embryos from an adult monkey - a technical breakthrough that could bring efficient human cloning a step closer.

A team in the US created dozens of cloned embryos from a 10-year-old male macaque, the journal Nature reports.

This could make it easier to clone human embryos for use in research.

It raises the prospect of developing transplant tissues to treat diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson's that will not be rejected by the body.

The American group was able to extract stem cells from some of the cloned monkey embryos, persuading them to develop into mature heart and nerve cells in the laboratory.

It's early days, but it's obviously potentially a big (although expected) advance. Unfortunately, the potential medical breakthroughs always have to be hyped in articles like this, and it rather detracts from the story, which is one of basic science moving forward.

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